Via Adam Schefter, the league has approved a modified version of the proposal put through by the competition committee. Kickoffs will be moved from the 30-yard line to the 35-yard line next season. Touchbacks will continue to be returned to the 20-yard line. Also, coverage units will no longer get a running start past 5 yards of the 35 yard line.
What's interesting is that this was sold as an issue of "player safety" with the league citing the number of injuries on kickoffs. Yet the proposal to remove the two man wedge was taken out...
Also approved via vote was the proposal for all scoring plays to be reviewable by replay officials upstairs in the booth. Coaches will no longer need to (or be able to) challenge plays where touchdowns are scored. They will, however, still receive a third challenge if they win the first two. (The original proposal took the third challenge away.)
Initial word is that seven teams voted against the changes on kickoffs. Nine votes were needed to kill the proposal.
Both of these developments are positives for the Packers. On kickoffs, the Packers haven't had a dynamic returner in ages and boast a dynamic offense that can drive the field. A move toward more touchbacks won't hurt them. (Unlike their division opponents in Chicago)
On scoring challenges, well, lets just say it decreases the chances of Mike McCarthy using one of his famous "emotional" challenges. ;)
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